Oh... Sir! The Insult Simulator (PC)

Oh... Sir! is a one-on-one fighter where you battle a computer or player, not by mashing buttons after moving a joystick in a quarter circle, but assembling insults from a list of components. The game is hilarious for a few trial rounds and a tournament or two as you make your character spout gobbldegook like "Your favorite Bond actor sucks at Overwatch and is silly", but by the time I unlocked the final boss as a playable character and saw everything the game had to offer, I was sick to death of it. (I went through the game before they added Serious Sam, and couldn't be arsed to go back for him)

The game starts to fall apart once you realize how much it is at the mercy of the computer. Each characters is weak to insults based on certain themes, such as technology and weight, but the game generates more components for some than others; it's rare to build a super-effective insult against the Russian, while the final boss is weak to family-based insults i.e. the vast majority them. The game gives him two health bars in a weak attempt to compensate for this, but even then you'd either have to be incredibly unlucky or actively trying to lose to him. Likewise, you can do more damage by assembling insults with the same subject multiple times in a row, but the computer has to actually spawn the damn things in the first place (another reason it's so easy to mow down the final boss, because "your mother" has to be the most commonly spawned component).

And since it's a computer judging the quality of the insults, their potency is a crapshoot; why is "You look like a demon's asshole" less effective than "Your mother is you"?

If you just want a program to make your computer say stupid shit, then knock yourself out. If you're looking for an actual game, pass.


Jam (Audiobook Written and Narrated by Yahtzee Croshaw)

I was listening to this while doing various grinding in World of Warcraft, like trying to get the Black Tabby to drop (it didn't) and rep grinding for a hippogryph mount. Yeah, Mogworld would have been more appropriate, but I've already listened it and thought this would be the next best thing. I enjoyed Mogworld, but this one sucked.

The premise is that a guy in Brisbane, Australia wakes up one morning to find the city hit with a grey goo-type apocalypse, but instead of tiny robots it's carnivorous jam. So while Mogworld was basically "What if World of Warcraft was developed on the Discworld", this one is Yahtzee taking a gag from one of his videos and trying to make it carry a whole book. It didn't work.

Jam follows the protagonist Travis, his idiot surfer roomate Tim, a ditzy Starbucks barista named Angela, and a cantankerous game programmer named Don, as they try to survive the jam, an American intelligence agent and her bodyguard who clearly know more about the jam than they're letting on, and a couple of communities that have been driven mad by the loss of civilization. They go from location to location with no overarching point, or even anything done with the jam apocalpyse other than occaisonally pointing out "It's flesh-eating jam, that's something we didn't expect to destroy the city, har har!" The most interesting point of the book for me was when Travis and Don first get to the Haibatsu building and find all the employees wearing necklaces of paperclips and Post-It Note headdresses, parallel to bones and feathers, and that's really fucking sad.

After farting around for most of the book, things go completely off the rails when the stoner roommate hijacks a fucking military battleship, and Travis, Angela, and Don find out how the death jam flooded Brisbane (we never find out where it came from originally). All hell breaks loose as most of the protagonists die or go crazy, then the book just... ends. The jam is resolved off page, the survivors don't seem all that affected by the jam or their dead friends, and all Travis can think about is a character that was abandoned earlier in the book.

The final problem after the hollow gimmick and plot points that go nowhere is the characters are all completely unlikable. Some of them are morons (Travis, Tim, Angela, Princess Ravenhair), some of them are assholes (Don, Lord Awesome-O, the bodyguard), and the rest are moronic assholes (the American agent, all the bit characters, and I'm half tempted to put Don into this category because of how much of the group's troubles are caused by his whining over his damn game build). How am I supposed to give a shit about how these characters will survive their plight when I just want them all to fall into the death jam?


Rollergator w/ RiffTrax Audio

I have enough trouble writing quickies for MST3K and RiffTrax features because while I may laugh my ass off watching it, when I sit down to write about it the movie's story sticks better than the jokes. I can't even remember the story of this one. Because it's noooonseeeense. Something about a bad alligator puppet being chased by carnies and ninjas on skateboards? Not helping is half the dialogue is drowned out by guitar noodling.


What We Do in the Shadows

While you can see the "Vampires with human problems" theme coming a mile away, this fake documentary on vampire roomates has enough laughs to make it worthwhile. Although since it involves vampires going into night clubs to find humans to drain, then biting them wrong so they spray blood out of their jugular all over the place, you do need a dark sense of humor to get the most out of this. In fact, I was about to turn it off a third of the way through because it was starting to get a bit too sadistic for me.

Around that point it starts to mellow out a bit, when Nick gets turned into a vampire and things become less about murder and more about a former human adapting to vampire problems while his computer programmer friend introduces the vampires to computers. Oh, there's still murder, and a rather gratuitous blood-puking scene. But we also get more moments like the hilarious "shame" scene.

The ending... at the risk of spoilers, it's like they wanted to tug at our heartstrings with a death, but then couldn't bring themselves to kill the character off. I'm also left wondering, when do vampires and werewolves kill a human, and when do they turn them into another vampire or werewolf?

I think they resisted "sparkly vampire" jokes, and hey, unlike This is Spinal Tap nobody was loudly masticating on gum for the whole fucking thing.